On the 17th and 18th of December, Mrs. Rezan Kader welcomed the Italian delegation to Erbil, led by the Minister of Defence, Mr. Lorenzo Guerini. Several bilateral meetings took place over the course of the visit and Mrs. Kader attended many of those given her strong support to the work carried out by the Italian contingent in Kurdistan and given Her commitment to continue to achieve results in terms of safety as has been done through the Italian contingent.
The President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, received the Minister Mr. Lorenzo Guerini on the 17th of December and thanked the Italian military forces operating in the Kurdistan Region for the work and sacrifice they make every day in order to guarantee security and defence against terrorism.
During the bilateral meeting the President Barzani reiterated that ISIS is not yet completely destroyed.
In fact, as confirmed by the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), in recent months, the area has seen an intensification of terrorist activities, therefore the Kurdistan Regional Government is strengthening the security activities and is inviting the international military forces on the spot to maintain a very high level of attention.
Furthermore, the President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated that the Italian military forces work was indispensable to the Peshmerga forces, so He expressed deep gratitude remembering that, since the past 3-4 years, the Italian coalition has been training more than 15,000 Peshmerga soldiers.
In the Kurdistan Region, the Peshmerga forces represent a fundamental actor in fighting terrorism and protecting minorities.
At the end of the meeting, the President Barzani, recalled the sacrifice made by the five Italian soldiers wounded in the field about a month ago.
On Tuesday evening, Minister Mr. Guerini and the delegation also met with Mr. Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region. In their meeting, the Prime Minister and Mr. Guerini addressed the current situation in Iraq, the latest Kurdistan Region’s Cabinet and the status of the Islamic State in the region.
The Italian Minister of Defence quoted past relations between Italy and the Kurdistan region and expressed his pleasure at their ties and strong coordination with the Peshmergas, praising the Kurdish forces for their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
Guerini also stated that Italy will renew soon its commitment to the fight against the Islamic State through the support of Peshmerga's forces, affirming that “Italy, as a key member of the global coalition against ISIS, will continue to to support the Peshmerga as well as the KRG in protecting the population of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq “.
"Italy plans to renew its mission in Iraq, which Prime Minister Barzani considered to be essential, in order to support all the efforts to combat the ISIS re-emergence and/or other armed groups," he continued.
Concluding, the Prime Minister Masrour Barzani expressed the KRG desire of further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations and long-standing allies and updated Mr. Guerini on the latest developments and threats to the stability and security of Iraq and the Middle East. "Recognizing the Italian government's broad support for the Kurdistan Region in the fight against the Islamic State.
For his part, Mr. Masrour Barzani extended his gratitude and appreciation for Italian aid ensured to Peshmerga's forces and expressed his desire to further develop relations between the two governments.
Italy is a member of the coalition led by the United States against the Islamic State. His troops have trained Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces for this purpose in recent years.
Italy has also provided humanitarian aid to 200 displaced families in 2017 for the victims of the powerful earthquake that struck southern Kurdistan in September 2017.